Agency worker legislation supported by more than one-third of employers

More than one in three employers want temporary workers to be given equal rights to permanent staff within six months of joining an organisation, research has revealed.

A poll of more than 1,500 employers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), in conjunction with accounting firm KPMG, found some support for agency worker legislation.

Business leaders have repeatedly campaigned for a minimum one-year qualifying period before agency workers gain the same pay and conditions as permanent staff.

But the CIPD survey showed that 35% of employers think equal rights should apply after less than six months, while 21% agree with trade unions that equal rights should apply from day one.

The Temporary and Agency Workers (Equal Treatment) Bill is due to receive its critical second reading in Parliament on Friday. The Bill does not state a qualification period, but the Labour MP behind it – Andrew Miller – has indicated that six weeks may be appropriate.

CIPD employee relations adviser Mike Emmott said: “If agency workers are to be given the same rights as permanent employees, it is crucial that we get the detail right.”

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